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Are We Alone? — Extraterrestrial Intelligence

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Pew Scholars Internal RFP

Pew Scholars Internal RFP

Pew Scholars Program aim:  Candidates should demonstrate outstanding promise as contributors in science relevant to human health.  Strong proposals will incorporate particularly creative and innovative approaches.  Candidates whose work is based on biomedical principles, but brings in concepts and theories from more diverse fields, are encouraged to apply.  Risk-taking is encouraged.  The University of Virginia can nominate one candidate.  For program details see:  http://www.pewtrusts.org/our_work_category.aspx?id=194.

Eligibility:  As of 1 November 2012 candidates must hold full-time appointments at the rank of assistant professor or equivalent.  On 1 July 2013 they must not have been in such as appointment for more that three years.

Internal application package:  3-page research narrative that describes (1) research accomplishments to date; (2) three-year project proposed to Searle; (3) long-term research goals.  Chair’s nomination letter.  Names of 3 external references who can—if asked—provide letters.  2-page PI, with additional page listing research funding.

Pew deadline:  1 November 2012.

Internal deadline:  Send internal application package in PDF format to Jeffrey Plank and Meg Harris, by 24 August  4 September at 4:00 pm.

Review and notification:  Review, the week of 13 September; notification, by 17 September.

Questions?  Contact Jeffrey Plank, 4-6901 or jp4q@virginia.edu.

Advanced Speaker Series on Emerging Technologies

Suspicious Coincidences in the Brain
Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Hosted by: Toby Berger
Tuesday, October 18th, 2011
4:00 – 5:00 pm
MEC 205
Reception at 3:30 pm (before talk)

Abstract:  Brains need to make quick sense of massive amounts of ambiguous information with minimal energy
costs and have evolved an intriguing mixture of analog and digital mechanisms to allow this efficiency.  Analog
electrical and biochemical signals inside neurons are used for integrating synaptic inputs from other neurons.  The
digital part is the all-or-none action potential, or spike, that lasts for a millisecond or less and is used to send
messages over a long distance.  Spike coincidences occur when two or more neurons fire together at nearly the
same time.  In this lecture I will show how rare spike coincidences can be used efficiently to represent important
visual events and how this architecture can be implemented with analog VLSI technology to simplify the early
stages of visual processing.


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